Georgy Katulin, General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, has called the IOC decision on the Russian Olympic Committee ‘unprecedentedly severe’.
“This decision has shocked us, we are choked with emotions… In my opinion, the decision to disqualify the Russian Olympic Committee is unprecedented, it will in no way help to calm tensions and resolve the doping issue in sports. It is an unprecedentedly harsh decision,” he told RIA Novosti.
According to Katulin, the IOC act was ‘unfair’.
“At the IOC meeting, they tried to prove that there was a state system of support of doping in Russia. Clear evidence was not presented; they stated that some officials of the Sports Ministry had been accused of wrongdoing, but the punishment was imposed on all – hundreds of athletes, the Olympic Committee of Russia which is the largest Olympic state. Personal responsibility has been turned into burden sharing; innocent people who were not involved in any doping scandals but believed in the Olympic ideals and trained for the competition, got compromised. Now they will not be able to take part in the Olympic Games opening parade under the flag of their country and in the uniform of their national team,” said Katulin.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled to suspend the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and to bar the country’s national team from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the IOC press service announced on Tuesday.
The committee ruled that ‘clean’ Russian athletes will be allowed to take part in the upcoming Olympic Games under a neutral flag. Individual athletes can still receive a permission to take part as neutral athletes and compete under the Olympic flag if they have no previous penalties or disqualifications for doping and pass all pre-Games targeted doping tests. The Olympic Anthem will be played during any ceremony with their participation, news agency TASS reports.
The panel will also determine an invitation list for support staff and officials. No member of the leadership of the Russian Olympic Team at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 can be included on this list.